Connect with us


Our Welfare and the Politics of 2023



By Kunle Oshobi

As we approach the 2023 presidential elections, as it has become the norm in the Nigerian political scene, issues of ethnicity, religion, and region of the presidential candidates continue to dominate the headlines and criteria for support while the issue of which candidate is best equipped to fix the economy and make life better for Nigerians has taken the back seat.

The irony in all this is that the foremost responsibility of our political leaders is to ensure the welfare and security of the people. While the ability to effectively manage and grow the economy will take care of the welfare of the people, issues of ethnicity, religion, and region add zero value to the effectiveness of our leaders other than the fact that politicians use it as a tool to distract and divide us while they take away our attention from what matters most to us which is our economic welfare.

The more pertinent issue is that the economy is now at it’s lowest ebb given the fact that all the economic gains achieved since the return to democracy in 1999 have been reversed in the last seven years by the current administration that appears clueless as far as managing the economy of the country is concerned.

As a result of this per capita income of Nigerians has dropped by over 50% since 2015 while the Naira has lost over 70% of it’s value within the same period. This has resulted in the prohibitive cost of goods and services, high
unemployment rate, declining productivity, excruciating national debts, increased crime rate, and Nigeria becoming the poverty capital of the world at a time when other third world countries are fast pulling their citizens out of poverty.

Given the grim existential reality we find ourselves in, given the pathetic state of the country’s economy, in our self-interest it only makes sense that we collectively support a candidate that is best equipped and has a proven track record to fix the economy and of all the presidential candidates soliciting for our votes next year, only one of them has a credible track record with growing the economy and has also demonstrated his preparedness to get our country’s economy back on track.

As is the current situation today, at the return to democracy in 1999, the Nigerian economy was at its lowest ebb with the GDP growth rate having stagnated at 0.58%, huge external debt of $35 billion, and debt service obligations in excess of $3 billion per annum, foreign reserves at less than $3 billion, GDP per capita of less than $500 and oil prices at less than $17 per barrel.

Without blaming the past military administrations for the nation’s woes, the
Obasanjo administration set to work and assembled an economic team under the supervision of the then Vice President Atiku Abubakar who was put in charge of the economy while Obasanjo focused more on international diplomacy to restore Nigeria’s battered image in the international community.

With the leadership of Atiku Abubakar, the economic team was able to turn around the economy, and from a dismal economic growth rate of 0.58% in 1999, they were able to achieve a growth rate of 16.2% by the third quarter of 2002 at a time of relatively low oil prices (This remains the highest ever economic growth rate achieved in the county’s history) and put
the country on a trajectory which resulted in our GDP per capita growing by over 600% to $3,000 per capita by 2014.

Having set the economy on the path of sustainable growth, they also ensured that the country’s resources were very well managed and were able to grow the country’s foreign reserves by the highest margins in the
country’s history even after paying off our external debts through a negotiated settlement in an agreement in which they were able to save the country a whopping $18 billion.

That asides they initiated several economic policies which helped to accelerate the growth of the country’s economy and create jobs such as the bank consolidation program which grew our banking industry by over 300% in just two years, the pension reforms which has now grown our pension funds to be in excess of 14 trillion Naira and remains the largest single pool of funds in the Nigerian financial services industry till date, the
Local content policy in the oil industry which retains on average $8 billion worth of oil service contracts to local entrepreneurs while ensuring technology transfer, the cement industry policy which boosted local cement production, saves the country $3 billion annually from money spent on imports and created hundreds of thousands of jobs down the value chain, liberalization of the telecoms industry which attracted tens of billions of dollars into the economy and grew the telecoms industry by over 30,000% within fifteen years amongst several other policies that added up to make Nigeria the fastest growing economy in Africa and resulted in Nigeria becoming the biggest economy in Africa by the time the economy was
rebased in 2013.

It was this same rapid economic growth that Lagos being the commercial capital of the country benefited from and allowed it to significantly grow it’s IGR from the companies thriving based on the economic policies. Ironically, it is someone that added zero value to these companies apart from taxing them that has been busy claiming credit for the IGR growth over the years.

In addition to the vibrant growth-inducing economic policies, as part of the efforts to manage the country’s resources judiciously, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices
Commission (ICPC) were established to institutionalize the fight against corruption while the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was strengthened to make the fight against fake drugs more effective in the country. The Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit (BMPIU) popularly known as Due Process office was also established to cut the high cost of procurements and contracts, thus saving the federal government hundreds of billions of Naira yearly in the process.

Growing the economy didn’t happen by chance, it took a lot of hard work, strategic planning, commitment, and tenacity which the Atiku-led economic team of the Obasanjo administration exhibited to make Nigeria become the fastest-growing economy in Africa. Given the economic predicament in which we find ourselves today, it is inevitable that we must elect a president that is not just committed to revamping the economy but has a proven track record and experience in this regard.

Of all the presidential candidates that have presented themselves to serve as the country’s next president, only Atiku Abubakar has the requisite experience to turn around the country’s economy while it is also a fact that he is the candidate that has shown the most commitment to fixing the country’s economy based on his level of preparedness.

Apart from having the most robust and realistic plan for the country, Atiku Abubakar plans to address the biggest challenge entrepreneurs have in the country with a $10 billion economic stimulus plan to finance Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country to stimulate economic growth. On the contrary, his main opposition’s plan to grow the economy is to recruit 50 million youths into the army and feed them with agbado (corn) and cassava to stimulate demand and supply thus betraying his
cluelessness in managing the economy for growth.

Another frontline candidate is fond of banding slogans such as ‘moving the economy from consumption to production” without any clearcut economic plan of how he intends to achieve this feat but if we are to go by his antecedents in which the poverty rate in his state went up from 41.4% to 53.7% under his leadership as governor, we can safely conclude that all his noise about moving the country from ‘consumption to production’ is mere propaganda as he has demonstrated a very poor ability to manage and grow the economy in his most recent public assignment.

As we approach the 2023 elections, we as Nigerians have to stop allowing sentiments, emotions, and propaganda to influence our decision-making process. We have to identify the candidate that is best equipped to ensure that our best interest as Nigerians is taken care of and which is revamping our economy and growing it for our collective benefit.

In ending this article, I must submit that it is actually in our enlightened self-interest as Nigerians, to vote for Atiku Abubakar as the next president of the federal republic of Nigeria as he is the candidate that is best equipped to fix our ailing economy, grow it and ensure that we all as Nigerians enjoy a better standard of living and higher quality of life. Our welfare is what matters most and it only makes sense that we support the man who has a solid track record of phenomenal performance in managing and growing our economy.

Kunle Oshobi writes from Lagos.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Voice of Emancipation: Nigeria’s New President




By Kayode Emola

In less than 48 hours Nigeria will welcome a new President, charged with handling its affairs for the next four years. Yet among the many challenges awaiting the new president, whether Nigeria itself can even survive another four years remains to be seen. There is no doubt that the Tinubu/Shettima presidency will need more than courage to keep Nigeria united for the full duration of their elected term.

Only time will tell whether Tinubu and Shettima will be sworn in come May 29, or whether we will instead have an interim government. However, one thing of which we are certain is that the era of Muhammad Buhari is over, never to be experienced again. Those who have survived living under Buhari’s misrule in Nigeria for the last eight years deserve an award for endurance.

We must not allow the expected swearing-in of a Yoruba man as Nigeria’s president on Monday 29 to make us complacent. Indeed, my Yoruba people, our task has just doubled.

Nigeria’s future is now looking more imperiled than ever before. The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) are already threatening to declare their own independent Biafra nation if Tinubu is sworn in come May 29. And the Biafra campaigners are not the only disgruntled people within the country. The vast majority of our Yoruba people and even the Hausa people are becoming embittered with the trajectory Nigeria has taken since independence. At this point now, the new president must decide if Nigeria will continue as it is, or ask the indigenous people to decide their future.

It is increasingly evident that Nigeria is not a sustainable venture, and that a trading post cannot become a country that can endure the test of time. The people within Nigeria never decided to unite and become a country, so trying to hold them to ransom can never succeed.

I will therefore urge the incoming president to rethink his policies if he has not thought about a peaceful way in which Nigeria’s dissolution can be established. Powering through and hoping that he can hold Nigeria together like his predecessor Buhari did will definitely not stand the test of time.

To my fellow Yoruba people who are singing hallelujah that a Yoruba man is going to be president. I want us to know that just as Buhari is leaving the Presidential seat come Monday 29, Tinubu will also not be president for life. When he leaves what will be the fate of the Yoruba people or the other nationalities that makes up Nigeria.

At this juncture in our history, it would be the time to give the indigenous peoples of Nigerians the opportunity to determine their future in a constitutional conference. Nigeria has gone past its due date and must now be prepared for decommissioning just like several countries such as Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc has done in the past. If not, a dysfunctional disengagement may lead to utter chaos if not another civil considering the damage the country is currently doing to the lives of millions of frustrated youths. The rate of poverty is not abating with the currency being devalued on a daily basis putting more strain on the people’s finances

The handlers of Nigeria must acknowledge that the unitary system being practiced in Nigeria has utterly failed the people. The people must now be handed a lifeline in order to salvage a future for themselves and their future generations. Anything short of that may mean Nigeria may go the way other African countries such as Somalia and South Sudan etc have divided with years of bitter civil war which has resulted in the loss of millions of innocent lives.

Yoruba people should not shout ‘Uhuru’ yet because one of us is sitting in ‘Aso rock’. If history has thought us anything, whoever becomes president of Nigeria is there for themselves and not necessarily representing their constituents. That Tinubu will be president does not stop the call for an independent Yoruba nation, if anything, the call for an independent Yoruba nation should now become louder and clearer to send a strong signal to the local and international communities that the Yoruba people have finally made up their mind to leave Nigeria.

Continue Reading


DNV: Namibia Welcomes First Digital Nomads




By Dolapo Aina

According to Citizen Remote, “A digital nomad visa is a temporary permit that allows visitors to stay in a country while they work remotely. Multiple countries offer these sorts of visas, and most of them have a duration of twelve months, with the possibility to extend your stay. While they may not be for everyone, a digital nomad visa allows many remote workers to travel the world while they work from the comfort of their computers. They also help the countries impulse their economy by having foreigners stay for extended periods.”

Several benefits and fallouts of having digital nomads in a country include but not limited to positive country branding by the digital nomads who are residents in their host country. Digital nomads tend to amplify messages the host country might have been trying to get across to potential travellers. On the African Continent, only a few countries have latched on to Digital Nomads and Digital Nomad visas (and it is noteworthy to state that some African countries might not term it Digital Nomad Visas but have something in that guise.)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant fallouts, digital nomads and remote work have increased exponentially globally and in Africa particularly.

According to the Harvard School of Business, with the global shift towards remote work over the past three years, approximately forty-seven countries have developed digital nomad visa programmes. On the African Continent, a few countries offer Digital Nomad Visa. These countries are and in no particular order: Cape Verde, Mauritius, Namibia and Seychelles. Other countries on the African Continent have something within this category but officially, it is designated as Digital Nomad Visa.

On Tuesday, 9th of May 2023, Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board announced and welcomed Namibia’s first Digital Nomads.

According to a statement signed by Ms. Catherine Shipushu, who is the senior manager: Marketing, Branding and Communications of Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board, “Namibia officially recorded her first digital nomads just five months after the official launch of the country’s Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) on 11 October 2022. The programme was launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration and Security (MHAISS) and the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), with the aim of enhancing economic activity in the country. The first two digital nomad visa applications were approved on Tuesday, 14 February 2023.”

The statement further revealed that the Digital Nomad Visa programme aims to capitalise on the growing global remote workforce by offering location-independent foreign professionals the chance to live, work, and experience Namibia for up to six months. These digital nomads contribute towards the country’s economy by injecting foreign currency in the ecosystem, but without usurping jobs meant for Namibians. Early results are encouraging, with over 121 enquiries about the programme recorded so far. Of this number a total of 20 applications were received, out of which nine were approved, with five rejections. The reasons for rejection were made known to include; applicants who do not meet the income requirements of two thousand dollars per month, and are thus unable to prove that they can effectively sustain themselves while in Namibia. Other applications were rejected because they were submitted while the applicants were already in Namibia on a different legal status such as a Tourist Visa, or they arrived in the country before approval of their application.

According to Ms. Catherine Shipushu; “The launch of the Digital Nomad Visa earned Namibia international praise, from Cape Town to Germany and as far as Australia. Additionally, we have witnessed a surge in queries and applications for the DNV through our website, further demonstrating the growing global interest. This demonstrates Namibia’s potential to harness the digital nomad trend and create new opportunities for local businesses in the tourism and information and communication technologies support sectors. As an effective marketing tool for Namibia, the DNV program has also created visibility through digital nomads documenting and sharing their experiences on social media and other mass media platforms, showcasing the nation’s natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and hospitality. This increased visibility has the potential to help attract more tourists, investors, and talent, further stimulating the nation’s economic growth and development.”

It is said that, by design, the Digital Nomad Visa complements, rather than competes with, the local workforce, ensuring digital nomads bring their own remote jobs or freelance projects to Namibia. This approach benefits the Namibian economy and its people while creating an environment for local entrepreneurs and professionals to expand their networks, learn from their international counterparts, and explore new avenues for collaboration.

Dolapo Aina reached out to Ms. Catherine Shipushu (senior manager: Marketing, Branding and Communications of Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board, in the Office of The Presidency) for more clarifications and insights.

On the abovementioned statement that the digital nomads contribute towards the country’s economy by injecting foreign currency in the ecosystem, I asked if this is the only criteria being looked at? What about those nomads who can attract global attention and global traffic into Namibia? How do you factor that into the policy? Ms. Catherine Shipushu stated that, “The Namibia Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) serves a dual purpose in enhancing the country’s economy. Firstly, it allows digital nomads to inject foreign currency into the ecosystem, contributing to economic activities and growth. Additionally, the DNV harnesses the power of digital nomads as ambassadors for Namibia. Through their documentation and sharing of experiences on social media and other platforms, they become valuable marketing assets, attracting global attention and generating publicity for the country. As part of our marketing campaign, we have engaged digital nomads, who are currently in Namibia, to share their unique perspectives and experiences, aiming to inspire and attract more digital nomads to choose Namibia as their preferred “work” destination. By leveraging their presence and influence, we strive to create a ripple effect of positive exposure and interest in Namibia, ultimately benefiting the local economy and fostering collaboration between local and international professionals.”

On the two thousand dollars per month projection, I asked if this was targeted at only Western nomads only or global nomads including African nomads who might not have the same financial muscle as their Western counterparts? And would this amount be reduced anytime soon? Ms. Catherine Shipushu stated that, “The requirement of USD 2,000 per month for the Namibia Digital Nomad Visa is not targeted exclusively at Western nomads. The income requirement serves as a benchmark to ensure that digital nomads, regardless of their nationality, have the financial means to sustain themselves comfortably in Namibia. The aim is to provide a positive experience for digital nomads and contribute to the local economy. The income requirement is based on the cost of living in Namibia and takes into account expenses such as accommodation, transportation, food and other essentials. The Namibian government understands the diverse backgrounds of digital nomads and aims to create an inclusive environment that welcomes global nomads, including those from Africa and other parts of the world, while maintaining a reasonable financial stability requirement. As with any programme, there is a possibility of periodic evaluation and adjustments based on feedback and the evolving circumstances.”

The launch of Namibia’s Digital Nomad Visa programme is a bold and strategic move that positions the country as a prime destination for remote workers from around the world. By embracing this global trend and offering a world-class visa program, Namibia stands to reap substantial economic, social, and cultural benefits.

Continue Reading

Adding Value

Adding Value: Understanding Oneself: Foundation to Success by Henry Ukazu




Dear Destiny Friends,

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom” – Socrates

Please permit me to begin this article by asking a simple question. Who are you? By this, I mean what you stand for or represent and not what the world thinks of you. It is instructive to note that what the world thinks of you is your reputation, but your character is who you really are.

If an employer wants to know more about a prospective employee, they can ask an open-ended question such as how would you describe yourself in one sentence? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Have you ever experienced a challenge or problem at work? If yes, how did you handle it? All these questions are structured to inquire more about the personality of the employee.

One of the best things anyone can do in life is not only to understand who they are, but also understand what they represent. It will be hard to know what you represent if you don’t understand who you are. If you don’t understand yourself, it will be difficult to understand other people.

According to Forbes, only 15% of the world are self-aware. One begins to wonder, what about the remaining 85%. As a transformational Human Capacity Coach, my company is focused on helping people unleash their potential. To do this, we use our self-discovery and mindset training manual to know more about them by giving them a set of self awareness questions which they are required to answer to the best of their knowledge. It is rather unfortunate that a lot of people don’t know themselves. They just exist as opposed to living.

Self-discovery is truly lacking in our society. When you truly know yourself, you will know your strengths and weaknesses. When you know yourself, you will know your boundaries as regards what to accept from people and where to draw the lines; you will know your personality traits; you will have a clearer understanding of your career path in your professional life; you will know how to interact with people; you will know your core values; you will have a clearer version of your life purpose; and you will be self-motivated. The list is literally endless.

In the journey of life, we engage in a lot of activities we are not supposed to be engaged in. For example, we study courses we are not wired or love to study, and this makes understanding difficult. Some of us apply for jobs we are not passionate about just to pay bills. Some of us even marry partners we don’t really like due to circumstances. Again, the list is endless. All these can lead to frustration and depression if not properly managed. If only we can take a deep breath and ask ourselves some deep thought-provoking questions on what we really want in life, and the reason we are doing what we are doing, the result will be different.

There are many ways to understand oneself. You can understand yourself by staying silent, reflecting about, and observing your life. These acts will help you to practice self-awareness which will ultimately help you to look inward and enable you to understand your feelings, emotions, and your personality. Self knowledge will enable you to know your values, interests, temperament, life mission, and activities to engage in.

As human beings, one thing we should constantly engage in is learning new things about ourselves on a daily basis. Knowing oneself takes time. However, due to desperation, most people don’t practice the art of stillness. When you take time to understand what’s involved in a particular work, it will be easy to solve it in a more efficient and effective manner. There is a story told of a philosopher, who fell into a ditch in front of him because he was too busy to see what was ahead of him.

Again, let’s take the case of Japan with about one hundred and twenty-five million people, which is one of the most industrialized countries on the planet, yet it maintains a level of calm despite the busy nature of the country.

The benefits of knowing oneself is priceless. It will make you confident which will ultimately eliminate self-doubt. It will help you build better and healthy health relationships by attracting the people you need and eliminating people you don’t need. You will be less stressed because you will focus on what’s important as opposed to irrelevant things which will keep your temperament and mindset in good shape.

Self discovery will help you to know your self-worth because no one will price you cheap when you know your value, and you will feel happier.

Furthermore, self knowledge will help you in decision making. When you know yourself, you will be able to make better choices about everything, from minor decisions to major decisions. Your temperament and personality type will be better managed as a leader or rational being.

Self control: When you know yourself, you will better manage yourself. If you can’t manage yourself, it will be hard to manage other people. When you know yourself, you understand what motivates you to resist bad habits and develop good ones. Knowing your strengths is one of the foundations of self confidence.

Resistance to social pressure. Self knowledge helps you to focus on what’s beneficial to you as opposed to other people. According to Bill Cosby, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone. When you are grounded in your values and preferences, you are less likely to say “yes” when you want to say “no.”

In conclusion, take time and reflect on this question, who am I? This is one of the most important questions you will answer in your entire life. When you answer this question, you have solved 50% of your life challenges. If you can’t answer this question, and need assistance, you can use the email below to reach out for assistance.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: